IIT-Roorkee, WII to study Bhagirathi, Alaknanda hydel projects
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Thursday, July 22, 2010, 21:44
New Delhi: The Centre has roped in IIT Roorkee and Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India to assess the feasibility of the proposed hydel projects on the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers in Uttarakhand.

The move comes against the backdrop of agitations by activists both for and against the projects on Bhagirathi. While some activists have raised ecological concerns, some others are favouring the project for the state which is facing acute power crunch.

Pointing out that environmental impact assessments of individual projects on the rivers have been made on a stand-alone basis, the Environment Ministry today said that a comprehensive study need to be undertaken of the series of proposed thermal power plants -- those planned, under implementation or operational.

"It has been decided that a comprehensive study may be undertaken on the likely cumulative impact of the projects on the flow and character of the river.

"The study would inter alia, determine the requirement of minimum flow from the proposed and already commissioned hydro electric projects on these rivers in their entire stretch," a statement from the ministry said.

This was decided at a meeting chaired by Environment Secretary Vijai Sharma recently after he noted that cumulative environmental impact of various projects on the riverine ecosystem in general and terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity, in particular, should be taken into account. He said compliance of the stipulated conditions on which various projects have earlier been cleared needs to be assessed.

The mandate of the study include assessment of cumulative impact of all hydroelectric projects proposed or established on river Alaknanda and Bhagirathi upto Devprayag.

"Whether the acceptable limits of geomorphologic stability or of environmental sustainability, particularly of environmental flows, are likely to exceed at any small or large hydropower project site(s).

"Whether there will be a depletion of irrigation potential or availability of drinking water in habitations as a result of any project and their impact on ground water and springs in the basin as well on places of cultural, religious or tourism importance will be the term of reference of the study" the statement added.

While IIT has been asked to finalise its report within six months, the WII has been asked to do so within next two months on the broad impact on the ecology of the surrounding areas.


First Published: Thursday, July 22, 2010, 21:44

comments powered by Disqus